Rapid Mental Transference


Performer shows a card, an envelope, and a pencil. He gives card and pencil to a spectator with request to write any number between one and a million. Card is then sealed into envelope. Spectator is asked to concentrate on his number. Performer takes pencil and in a moment writes spectator's number, digit by digit, on the envelope. Card is then removed from envelope and the two numbers shown to check.


1 -- A blank card like a visiting or business card, about 2 x 3-1/2 inches.

2 -- An opaque manila pay envelope, about 3-1/4 x 4-3/4 inches.


Take the envelope and insert in it a piece of cardboard. This is done so that when you cut a slit in the front of envelope, the back or seamed side will not be affected. Cut your slit about 1 1/8 inches from flap end of envelope. Cut it to within about half an inch from sides of envelope. Remove cardboard. If slit is made with a very sharp knife or razor blade, it will not be noticeable when envelope is shown hurriedly. At a distance of a few feet from spectators, slit is not visible at all. However, be on your guard so that slit is not exposed, Figure 12 and 13.

To Perform:

Come forward with prepared envelope, card, and pencil. Hold pencil in right hand. Hold envelope in left hand with slit side down on

palm and flap side up. Have card on envelope. Figure 14.

"Before beginning work in mental transference, I usually make a test at rather close quarters to determine harmony of thought. Audiences vary just as radio conditions vary. One night you hear a station very clearly, and the next night you perhaps can't even get that station."

Come down close to audience. If performing on stage, stand on the runway or steps.

"Will you, sir, be kind enough to help me? I believe you have good power of concentration. Please take this card and pencil and write down any number between one and a million. I suggest that you write a number of three or four digits, though, of course, you have your own free choice. Do that side of the card hidden from me."

Spectator writes number on card.

"And I shall ask you to place the card in this envelope."

Show slit side of envelope by taking it in right hand and then replacing in left. Slit will not be noticed. Envelope held in left hand in position shown in Figure 14 makes it easy for spectator to insert card without noticing slit.

"Keep the number side of card downward and away from me and just slip the card into this envelope."

As he places card in envelope, guide it so that it goes through the slit and most of the card is between left palm and envelope instead of inside, Figure 15.

WARNING: Watch your Angles of Visibility. Make sure that no one can see the card outside of envelope. Hold it close enough to you and stand far enough away from spectators to cover card well.

Seal flap of envelope and hold envelope in position shown in Figure 16. This exposes numbered side of card and enables you to read it at a glance. Do not keep your eyes on envelope but glance at it very quickly and look up again at spectator who wrote number. As you talk to him, allow envelope to slip back on palm of left hand again.

"You have written a number, sir, of your own free choosing -a number somewhere between one and a million. I have had you write it on this card so that you may the better concentrate on it. Will you, sir, think of your number one digit at a time, starting with the first? That's fine! I sense the number TWO. Is that right, sir. It is."

Write the number 2 on the envelope.

"Now, the next number. SEVEN -- right? SEVEN."

Write 7 next to the 2.

"The next -- that's right, concentrate hard. ONE correct? You are doing fine, sir."

Write 1 after the 7.

not let me see the number -- keep

"Again -- the next number. NINE -- right? Down goes the NINE."

Write 9 after the 1.

"Now, try it again. Oh, there isn't any more -- that's all there is. All right, then. The number is -- two, seven, one, nine. Let us check up."

Tear open flap of envelope, reach inside with right hand and draw out card, part of which must still be in envelope. Show numbered side to audience and read card.

I suggest using numbers, but names could be written and spelled out letter by letter.


Step to side of stage. Place card, envelope, and pencil offstage and take the crystal ball, the pedestal, and the mystic book. Keep book horizontal so that you will not disturb arrangement of cards and keep opening to rear.

Place book on table and the pedestal on the book. Hold crystal ball in left hand and offer this explanation for using it.

"The crystal has long been associated with mental and occult phenomena. Men have bought fine crystals valued at hundreds of dollars in the hope of seeing something in them to foretell the future or read men's thoughts. To me the crystal is a means of helping me to gain intense concentration and to attune my mind to outside forces."

Place crystal ball on the pedestal on book. Sit down in chair placed a little behind table. Gaze at ball, and as you do so, slide out a card from book with hand. Pull it out just far enough to glance at it. Continue to look at ball and slide card to right side of opening in book. You can still glance at it if you need to, and it is now out of the way of the next card. Now look at audience.

"Concentrate on the thing you want me to tell you Concentrate on what you have written. When I call out your name, please raise your hand. Just as in radio, I cannot tell where messages are coming from. If you will let me know just where you are, I can work directly with you."

Suppose the first card has on it this message:

X16526518B Thomas Coleman.

You know that this is a number on a bill. The letter on the end tells you that, for bills come in lettered series.

"Ah, here is a message from T. C. Who signed himself with T. C.? Thomas Coleman is the name. I get, Mr. Coleman, that you want me to tell you a number on a bill which you have. If you have the bill handy, will you please take it in your hand and concentrate on the numbers one at a time? Are you ready? X-1-6-5-2-6-5-Seven, no, that isn't right -- it's a 1 -- the next is 8 -- the letter is B."

Continue working this way with the other cards. You should have no trouble in getting your information from the cards without being detected. If you find one card which gives you a chance for good SHOWMANSHIP, hold it back for the closing number and come out strong with it. To answer this feature card, stand up, take crystal from pedestal and come down front with it — then answer it. Should someone draw a picture, draw a duplicate of it on a piece of cardboard with black crayon to make an effective finish for your act.


1 - If you are working under conditions where there are no other acts backstage and assistant has full freedom, you may use this clever plan for getting information.

Have assistant copy cards onto large cardboard with heavy crayon. He then stands at right front of stage back of wings and holds up cardboards for performer to read, Figure 17.

Be careful that assistant cannot be seen by audience. A glance or two will convey the information to you. and you can hold the crystal ball and move about on the stage while answering questions and giving out information.

2 - Another ruse is to take a piece of black velvet about twelve inches square. With a smaller piece of black velvet, make a pocket in one corner of large piece. This should be large enough to hold cards and allow room for sliding them to side out of way. Pocket should be on under side.

Place piece of velvet over left hand and grasp crystal ball through it in left fingers. Under cover of velvet, raise a card up with right hand and glance at it, then slide it to right side of pocket out of the way. Keep eyes apparently on crystal all the time, Figure 18.

3 - Crystal ball may be eliminated and the tablet idea substituted as taught you in Lesson 29. This merely requires copying the cards onto a tablet.

Performer passes out small slips of paper and pencils with the request that spectators write questions, etc. (as in other Mind Reading Acts). Papers are folded, collected, and placed on table. Performer picks up a tablet and pencil to help him get mental impressions. Then he picks out one of the slips of paper and puts it aside. He writes down his impression of the message contained on this slip of paper. If it is a question, he answers it. The slip of paper is then unfolded, and the message in it is found to check up with the performer's impression. Paper is refolded and passed down to owner. Another slip is picked out and the same routine carried through with it, and so on with as many slips as performer has time to handle.


2 -- A glass bowl or plate for collecting slips.

3 -- Pencils, fairly soft lead.

4 -- A commercial size tablet, 8-1/2 x 11 inches. Remove cover from tablet.

5 -- A candlestick and candle.


Cut a slit in top of candle large enough to hold a folded slip of paper.

Fold each piece of paper in four, crease it well. Mark a small number with pencil in the corner of each slip, starting with 1 and continuing upward. Open slips again. The purpose of folding them beforehand is to


have spectators use the same folds and thus have all slips uniform in appearance, Figure 19.

Have slips on plate or in glass bowl with pencils. Have tablet and pencil ready.

To Perform:

Your opening speech may be like the one used in the Crystal Gazing Act.

Pass out papers and pencils to audience and request that they write questions, numbers, dates, etc., and sign their names to slips. Tell spectators that each slip is numbered and that they should fold their slips so that number is on the outside. Tell each to remember his number.

Collect slips on the plate or in the glass bowl and take up pencils. As you return to stage and your back is toward audience, reach up to plate with right hand and palm one of the slips — using either Finger Palm or Front Thumb Palm method. Keep back of hand toward audience. Notice number on slip of paper if you can. If not, you can get it later. Let us say it is No. 8.

Place bowl or plate with slips on table. Have table arranged as shown in Figure 20.

Pick up tablet with left hand. Turn to face audience, holding tablet as shown in Figure 21. Fingers are in front and thumb in back of tablet.

With a natural movement bring right hand back of tablet and place slip of paper under left thumb, see Figure 22.

Then continue movement of right hand over top of tablet to reach for pencil on table.

With pencil in right hand, grasp bottom edge of tablet, releasing left hand with slip of paper. Keep left hand screened by tablet, Figure 23.

With left fingers open slip of paper and hold it pressed against back of tablet with left thumb. Grasp bottom edge of tablet again with left fingers. Right hand with pencil is now released, Figure 24.

"Not only do I find that having you write your thoughts helps me to catch them, but also I find that if I write myself, it enables me to concentrate better and to tune in more readily to outside impressions."

Scribble hurriedly on the tablet and hold it up to audience, always keeping back of it with slip of paper toward yourself. This brings tablet up and slip of paper in your line of vision. Quickly read message on slip, Figure 25.

Bring tablet down again toward your left. Grasp bottom with right hand and quickly fold slip with left hand. Quickly bring left hand back in position again, thumb holding slip on back of tablet and fingers in front at bottom edge.

As you do this, you must keep up your patter to MISDIRECT attention. Say something like this:

"This isn't spirit writing, however. Somehow, the spooks have never been so communicative with me as to jump around on my paper."

Turn tablet upright again, forcing slip upward with left thumb. Grasp tablet at top with right hand, fingers in front and thumb in back. Push slip up under right thumb, Figure 26.

Drop tablet to right side, being careful to keep back concealed. Reach over and take folded slip of paper from plate on table and hold it up in left hand, Figure 27.

Notice number on this slip -- say it is 21. The slip you already have is No. 8.

"Will No. 8 please concentrate for a moment? Fine! I get an impression from K. R."

Place slip in slit at top of candle. Audience thinks you are getting impression from this slip. In reality, you are giving message from slip you have-in right hand behind tablet.

Figure 28.

Pretend to write impressions as you call them out. Under cover of tablet FINGER PALM slip in right hand. As you hold pencil in right hand also, it helps to conceal slip.


FIG. 20

Suppose the message reads:

Will our house be finished by September? Mrs. Karl Richmond.

"K. R., where are you? Mrs. Karl Richmond. That's it, hold up your hand. You want to know something about a future event. It has something to do with building. I get an impression of a home in process of construction. Is that right? Are you thinking of a home which you are building? What's the matter? Do you want to get into it by September? Just keep in touch with the contractor. He can push ahead or delay, and your contact with him will help you get action. I believe I got your mental impression ail right."

Pick up slip from candle with left hand. Place tablet and pencil at rear of table with right hand. Bring hands together and open up folded slip. Read the message to yourself. Perhaps it is this:

Pretend that you are reading Mrs. Karl Richmond's message.

"That's right. You wanted to know about finishing your home in September, as I said." THE MOVES OF UNFOLDING AND FOLDING SLIPS ARE VERY IMPORTANT: Study these movements very carefully. Do not go any farther until you have mastered them. After you have picked up folded slip from table, hold it in position shown in Figure 29. Push left thumb between folds of slip and push up rear part, Figure 30.

Now open slip completely. Open right hand and slide open slip into right hand so that it covers the Palmed folded slip, Figure 31.

Fold slip again by pushing over left side of it with left thumb. Then fold over top part to the rear, pushing it down with right index finger. Press slip down on slip in right palm, apparently to crease it well. Take both slips pressed together between thumbs and forefingers of both hands. Show freely as one slip, exposing palms of hands to audience, Figure 32.

Now hold slips pressed against first three fingers of right hand with right thumb, Figure 33.

Right thumb draws top slip back into hand, ready for Finger Palming. This slip is No. 21. Left hand takes

Tell me my telephone number-- Main 684-J. William K. Smith.


under slip which has been Finger Palmed all the time away from right hand. This slip is No. 8, a message on which you just read, Figure 34.

Drop right hand to side. As you do so, curl three fingers of right hand inward and FINGER PALM slip. Keep back of hand to audience, Figure 35.

Return slip in left hand -- No. 8 -- to spectator who wrote it.

"I will just return the paper to the owner so that she may keep it as a souvenir."

Step down to audience far enough to hand slip to someone and ask him to pass it along to Mrs. Richmond. In some cases, if owner is near enough to you, you may deliver the slip personally.

Go back to table and pick up another slip of paper. Suppose it is No. 19. Call out number of slip palmed in right hand.

"Number 21, Number 21 -- where are you?"

Place this slip in slit of candle. Pick up tablet and pencil again and pretend to write impressions.

"I get an impression from W. K. S. Concentrate, Mr. Smith. You want me to tell you what your telephone number is. If I had a telephone book here, it might be easy. Isn't your first name, William? William K.? Think of your number, please -- first the exchange. Main -- isn't that right? Now the numbers -- SIX, EIGHT, FOUR, J. Main 684J."

Lay tablet and pencil on table again and pick up slip No. 19 from candle. Open it as before and pretend to check up on Mr. Smith.

You now go through routine of folding slip and exchanging it for palmed slip in right hand as taught you above. See Figures 29 to 35.

Return slip No. 21 to owner.

Pick up another slip — say, No. 7. Do not use tablet from now on except to accent a point or draw a picture. As you pick up each slip, call out the number of the slip palmed in right hand. In each case, tell spectator your impression or answer his question, then go through routine of opening slip apparently to check up but really to read next message. Then fold slip and exchange with palmed slip from right hand and return completed slip to owner.

Continue with as many messages as you have time for. Put a great deal of SHOWMANSHIP into the last message or question. Dispose of last palmed slip by placing in pocket.

This method of reading ONE AHEAD will be found very useful. Some members of your audience may have heard of the ONE AHEAD method, but this one completely baffles them for you apparently return the slip to the owner. In the old method the performer merely opened slips and read one ahead but did not return the slips. The important thing here is to start properly and get the message from the first slip and then everything works smoothly.

This Act is excellent for tests before newspaper men or others with whom you wish to create an impression of unusual ability in mental thought transference. It is not suitable for stage work, as a rule, but is


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